Welcome to BHA Consultants
BHA Consultants deliver new business opportunities, better customer targeting, business growth, higher sales and better profitability to clients through a package of consultancy approaches and models. Our consultancy services include marketing strategy and planning, business planning including strategies, market research, director mentoring, corporate identity and branding and business development. > more
- Recent projects 11 April 2013
- Broadening the Offer – Business Development Seminar & Managers Forum for Heritage Railway Association – Presentation to heritage railway general managers etc as part of a day devoted to business development in a sector with annual sales of over £100 million and over 10 million passengers and visitors
- Feasibility study for establishment of visitor centre and /or attraction on site of a new brewery
- Review of management systems mentoring the Chief Executive of a Residential leisure courses college
- Development ideas/strategy for major Cotswolds tourist attraction
- Social media strategy for destination management company, meetings and events centre
- Review and recommendations on how a museum can best profitably maximise the use of the intellectual
- property held in its archive
- Major review of a North East of England heritage centre and museum including stakeholder consultation
- leading to a Strategic Marketing Development for the trustees
The project covered:
- Understanding the Audience – the Target Markets
- The Competitive Context
- Analysis of the Current Museum
- Marketing Proposition and Target Visitor Numbers
- Marketing Campaign
- Marketing Campaign Activities
- Recommendations on themes, content , interpretation and the need to engage and network with local and regional stakeholders
- Consultancy Projects 29 October 2012
Working with Attract Marketing Ltd projects have included:
- Winning social media and visitor engagement plan for a Worcester firm of architects followed by a development plan for the business working with the management team
- Review and marketing strategy including use of technology and social media for a city arts organisation that runs theatre and concert hall venues, festivals and music, film, dance, comedy and word
- Review and marketing strategy for a golf club, health club and Spa
- Diagnostic Review and Strategic Marketing Plan for a North East city heritage centre and museum
- Change management and development plan for a coach travel and private hire company
- Mentoring the owners of a range of hospitality and accommodation providers wanting to develop their businesses
- Presentation on the role and use of social media to the management team of a major regional wild life park
- The International Institute for Sustainable Tourism 7 October 2012
A new institute, for tourism professionals, The International Institute for Sustainable Tourism (IIST) seeks to promote and develop a wider knowledge and understanding of sustainable tourism through the provision of forums (to debate and inform), networks (to link professionals worldwide and aid collaboration) and knowledge transfer (developing an accessible and readily useable knowledge hub).
- Recent projects 7 May 2011
Feasibility study for a bio mass / straw log plant for a major farm business in the Cotswolds that involved a detailed market appreciation of the firewood and timber market and research on pricing, and customer attitudes to new products and of the routes to market
Market research (qualitative and quantitative) for a video conferencing supplier to the public sector
Marketing plan for a timber garden furniture and leisure products distributor
- Branding Theory and Practice 6 September 2009
See the new page on branding and strategy plus case studies
- Mentoring – a case study 9 June 2009
Kids Should Be Kids (www.kidsshouldbekids.co.uk) is a web site set up in 2007 by Danish-born mother of two, Malene Hansen, to supply stylish Scandinavian designed Children’s Clothes. KSBK’s children’s clothes are fresh, practical and funky in bright, clean and vibrant colour combinations.
The company is based on the fundamental view that kids should be dressed as kids and not as mini adults!
Like all startups, KSB has some key issues such cash flow, marketing and generating visits from potential customers to the web site.
Nick Booker has acted as a mentor to Malene since November 2008 and generally has a meeting every six to eight weeks lasting between one and two hours.
Malene has developed the web site from scratch over the last 18 to 24 months, working on her own most of the time. Nick therefore sees that one of his most important roles has been to provide “a listening ear” providing objective comment and insight on a variety of aspects of the business. In addition Nick has been able to introduce Malene to organisations like Warwick University B2B Centre and their excellent free seminars and networking events as well as signposting her to other sources of advice and help and making suggestions on business and marketing planning for the future. Nick has made extensive use of his own business experience and networks, one example being the use of LinkedIn the business professionals networking site.
Malene had been using Google Adwords but to no great effect, so Nick ran a question on LinkedIn on the problem and received over 40 replies from business professionals from around the world. These answers enabled Malene to understand the problem better and arrive at a solution for optimising the KSBK web site both for generating better organic growth and for the Goggle Adwords programme.
Nick says “It’s very satisfying being able to make use of my long experience in business and help out someone who is starting out. I’m not web site design specialist, however I know what works and does not in many cases. But that is not the issue. It’s about being able to provide objective strategic comments and asking the questions so that Malene can find the solutions herself. What I bring to the party is the ability to signpost and suggest where advice might be sought as well as providing the constructive criticism and helping to set milestones and targets. However, I sometimes have to resist the temptation to dive in and do things myself! But that is not what mentoring is about. I liken it to be being KSBK’s board of directors and chairman all rolled into one.
And finally, it’s not a one way street as along the way I have learnt a few things myself. So for me being a mentor is a win win game and it’s fun”
- Social networking sites – a marketing channel opportunity? 25 March 2009
Flickr, one of the leading photo sharing web sites on the web has an element of commercial content on and I was interested in discovering whether anyone considered it seriously as part of the marketing mix. If so does it work? So, I posed a question on Linked In the networking site for business professionals. This short article is based on the answers received.
My own experience is that I registered Attract Marketing – the consultancy I’m a director of, as a member with some pictures drawn from our tourism/Visitor attraction clients and also set up Tourism Group. Both have generated some interest and the links are at the end of this article.
The key points from the research are that:
- Flickr is a marketing resource
- There are some basic principles to follow
- Make sure you buy a ‘pro’ membership
- Join Groups
- It provides additional in bound links to your main web site
- As with all web sites keep the content fresh and up to date
Using Flickr and other sites
Depending on the industry you’re in, Flickr can be very handy as an *additional* tool to your marketing arsenal. It’s not the main focus, but it can be useful for additional public relations or ‘conversational marketing. ‘
Peer Lawther, Online Social Media Marketing Thinker & Doer works on behalf of three national museums so Flickr is wonderful for broadcasting their archives to new audiences. One of the museums featured in ‘The Commons’ on Flickr in September.
However, if your industry sector isn’t given to images and/or photos then of course it’s not somewhere you should focus your time. There are countless other social and business media networks that could work better.
If you do want to use Flickr, then add images that are emotive and thematic. No one cares for 20 photos of a gizmo, each taken from a slightly different angle, unless you’re Apple. They need to be in context, make the images honest and everyday and maybe add some interesting background information that viewers can relate to, then other users are naturally going to look at your images. Also, remember to add the place names to your image tags and descriptions.
Groups are a very good way of talking to people that perhaps wouldn’t come across your images or profile, and there is a group out there in Flickr for everyone. However, remember the rules of community apply here as they do on any social media site. These need to be observed first before communicating in an honest and open way.
On a one-on-one level, people can be ‘befriended’ by clicking on ‘add as a contact’, in their profile. But remember to keep it sweet; don’t just click willy-nilly around the site. You should choose thematic friends, or ones that share an interest in photographing similar things to images in your account. So Attract for example links with photographers and groups involved with tourism and attractions such as museums. You can also write testimonials for photographers you do like, like a LinkedIn recommendation, these are always good to give and receive.
You need to ensure that you’ve got a Pro account, about $28 a year. No one will take you seriously if you don’t. The images should be well sized as you hope that someone will like your images, become a fan of them, or download them as PC wallpaper. Ideally try to make them landscape and 1280 pixels wide at the very least. Also, don’t stick a mighty great watermark over the top of them. This is the social media world, that’s not done anymore!
Another thing is to make sure you name the account so it has a permanent and tidy URL – http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalmediamuseum/ for example, not a URL with the big long number at the end of it that Flickr gives it. You can change this in ‘your account’ then ‘Your Flickr web addresses’.
Peer has used Flickr for a couple of roles, showing off videogame screenshots when he worked for a games company, (which worked very well and then of course working for the Science Museum, Media Museum and Railway Museum. These tie in very well with Flickr!
He concludes saying one should remember to update frequently; it will refresh your account, mean your work appears for your contacts more regularly, and also mean you are hopefully working on your skills as a photographer!
Pamela Anderson, a Marketing Account Manager has been on Flick for quite a while. She says there are some grassroots marketing strategies but it takes a lot of time and effort. As we have seen earlier, pro membership is vital as Flickr users are very fickle and will not pay attention if the little ‘pro’ tag is not beside your name.
Also, join groups, be active in commenting, and post your business link on your profile. People will go from there. Pamela gets loads of hits to her personal blog.
Jon Hickman, a Media Researcher, Lecturer and Designer believes that done right Flickr can be quite powerful, but many people are not doing it correctly. Jon met a photographer recently and he said Flickr wasn’t any use to him, and did nothing for his business. His problem was not tagging his photos properly. Once he had done that, it generated a lead the same day.
There is no point in just throwing stuff up there. It needs to be tagged and described appropriately. In the case of the photographer, it was simply localising his place in the market to Birmingham and it generated a commission.
For Facebook again it will really depend on the product or service. With Facebook more than Flickr tread lightly and carefully. It is a social space although there is the ability to register companies. But ideally you need to give some element of social value to the users or risk upsetting them. A growing number of consultants are using face book to network with other consultants and potential clients.
An example quoted by Jon, is a Birmingham pub due to be closed to make way for development. A Facebook group was set up to organise opposition to the closure. While the group will probably be ineffectual, it’s something of a fait accompli but it seemed important to Jon to show some solidarity and he was happy to be a member of the group.
But then the group started being used as a channel to tell Jon about drinks promos, quiz nights, latest news, etc. As he said, “This isn’t what I signed up for, so I’ve left the group.”
The lesson here is that in the Facebook environment and indeed other similar sites one needs to be respectful of the relationship, and stick to the principles that people have signed up for. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for more generalised marketing, but be explicit that that is the reason for the group. An example of this distinction within would be a general “Friends of…” group for a museum or attraction, as opposed to a group concerning a specific fundraising effort, exhibition, etc.
Facebook is a network of social connections and linkages, so it is appropriate to have multiple areas for one organisation. So in the example above one could have both a broad presence and then separate niches of interest with their own pages. Facebook is good at working out the linkages between interest groups and offering options for users to drill down into other areas.
Gareth Edwards, an eMarketing Specialist at The National B2B Centre at Warwick University often recommends Flickr, amongst other social media sites as a site to place content on. Some people he has dealt with have put product photos on and others, like Attract Marketing are fortunate enough to have dual purpose content, pictures that are of general interest and also promote the particular location.
Pictures can also be logged on sites like Stumbleupon, www.stumbleupon.com which is a user nominated content site. One of Gareth’s my clients had a real surge in traffic after putting a reference up there. Then if you have video material then put it on YouTube.
All of these tools create inbound links for search engines and provide the opportunity for real visitor traffic too.
Gianluigi Cuccureddu an Advertising Consultant at Traffic4u feels depending on the market sector, Flickr would definitely be a marketing opportunity. ‘It creates emotion, spirit, engagement’, people can make photos their favourites and so on. He emphasises the need to pay attention on tagging and descriptions and to include the main web site URL for the search engines to pick up. Gianluigi finally made the point of not being overtly commercial as one of his Flickr accounts got deleted because it was too obviously commercial.
To conclude Flickr does have a role in marketing but like most things in life and business you get out of it what you put in. Use it carefully and stick to the rules and it will work for you
Attract Marketing’s web site is at www.attractmarketing.co.uk and its presence on Flickr is at:
Finally thanks to
Peer Lawther – Online Social Media Marketing Thinker & Doer
Pamela Anderson – Marketing Account Manager at Media General
Jon Hickman – Media Researcher, Lecturer, Designer & Consultant
Gareth Edwards – eMarketing Specialist at The National B2B Centre
Gianluigi Cuccureddu – Advertising Consultant at Traffic4u
You can find them all and me on Linked In at www.linkedin.com
Attract Marketing Ltd
- Google Adwords – making them work 3 February 2009
For the expert low down on making Google Adwords work effectively and whether you should even use them , see Nick Booker’s research results from LinkedIn at http://www.ultramarketing.co.uk/
- New marketing channels on tight budgets 3 January 2009
Flickr, Youtube and Facebook are just three examples of alternative and developing marketing channels that marketers need to be aware of and exploit as needed. For clients with highly visual services and products they are ideal for example: tourism, historic houses , hotels, visitor attractions etc. Also they are attractive to those with small marketing budgets – very appropriate currently. So with some good photography – that is worth paying for – and some simple software such as Microsoft Windows Moviemaker (comes with most packages) you are in business and can direct your first commercial. For examples of what can be done see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4eAvDTNHHU “Heath House” an historic house in Staffordshire. See also the other films (from stills) listed under atomage2006.
Finally don’t miss my article on using social networking for marketing on the Attract Marketing web site at www.attractmarketing.co.uk under “article”
- New marketing channels 17 November 2008
See the article on using Flickr, one of the leading photo sharing web sites and other social networking sites based on research among experts on Linked In the networking site for business professionals.
- Business development and change projects by Nick Booker 14 November 2008
- Non executive marketing director for family owned logistics company including development of strategic marketing plan; running directors’ strategic planning/mentoring workshops leading to a radical re-structuring of the business and development of three year personal and business plans
- Strategic planning role for a leading building components distributor leading to the successful and acquisition of a competitor.
- Marketing/business development role for building maintenance company working in the public sector, focussing on improving PQQ and tender success and implementing major corporate identity launch
- Expert adviser to English Heritage on financial and business case options for alternative sites for new build Visitor Centre at Goodrich Castle for English Heritage, leading to 2007 opening
- Development of divisional marketing strategies for interior space solutions contractor leading to culture change and re-focusing of sales team on business development;
- Management of a new product launch for a packaging films company leading to a successful move to a higher margin differentiated product and a significant change in the product mix
- Europe wide evaluation of aero engine repair practices leading to 100% increase in sales of after-market servicing activity for components supplier